Start with an archetype and pick four high fantasy schticks. You get your native language and tradetongue at 4 or 5 depending on your level of sophistication (you be the judge for your character). Note that the average person has all 5’s in their attributes, save for a Chi (and all substats) of 0; competent professionals have a skill AV of 9. (Apprentices tend to have a 5, journeyman 7.) All archetypes have combat skills; note that if you take one whose combat AV is only 12, you may feel a little left out at first when other people are making mooks pop off every action. You may be able to offset this with gun or sword schticks.
Note that unlike normal Feng Shui, there is a new Secondary Attribute under Chi: Attunement. This represents your attunement to the forces of the universe. Magic is command over them from without; Attunement is the power of oneness with them. Priests use Attunement for Theurgy just as wizards use Magic for Thaumaturgy.
Read up on the skill descriptions to check for variance with the regular Feng Shui rules.
If you’re a spellcaster, you’ll need to pick your spheres of magic and a realm of power; if a priest, you’ll need to pick a god from the pantheons of The Children of the Dragon, the Pyramid pantheon, a group of Dwarven gods, the mysterious pantheon of Argsal, or make one up and get GM approval, then pick your spheres.
If you’re a warrior, there are all manner of interesting weapons available, and they’re pretty much interchangeable by type. Check out Chinese and Japanese weapons for some alternatives to the Western classics. If you’ve got fu powers, check out alternate fu paths— the gamemasters will probably approve them, though the powers may vary slightly from island to island. (Please try to keep to one or two paths; schools with many paths should be rare.) Also, check out Brad Solberg’s fu power analysis. If the Path of the Empty Bottle appeals to you, I agree with Solberg’s opinion on alcohol impairment.
Note that Supernatural Creatures are usually monsters native to the regular level of reality; if you want to play a being from a different level of reality— perhaps exiled from brighter realms or escaping from darker ones— go right ahead. Check out the bestiary for inspiration.
Think about the sort of place your character came from. Thus far, we have descriptions of the islands of Élas, and Sheflek. If you’re creating an island, you might want a glance at the overview of historical and fantastic technologies I’m composing, and an in-character discussion of the physics of the world. There are enough definitions I finally started a glossary.
Note that we’ve tweaked the experience rules, so take those into account if you’re already plotting your character’s growth. Warping is not a common threat as long as you don’t go dancing with wraiths or jumping in Chaos very often.
I’m trying to rethink the whole notion of transformed animals for the world, so talk to me if one inspires you.
In general, I don’t want to worry too much about gear. It’s easy to assume that a character has adventuring gear reasonable to their level of wealth and carrying capacity. If someone starts pulling out amazing quantities of stuff without a personal extradimensional space to carry them in or pack animals or native bearers, we may need to require people to keep track of how many waterskins they’re carrying, but I’d prefer not to bother.
If you have the Melee skill, you should be wearing armor— at least as much as you can afford and handle with your strength and action value. (Spellcasters can wear armor, but any armor increases the shot cost of any spellcasting action by the protective value of the armor.) These numbers are totally off the cuff; I’m open to suggestions to make them somewhat more realistic. Each level of protection beyond 1 subtracts from your AV to sneak.
|Armor||Toughness||Min. Melee||Min. Strength||Min. Wealth|
|Studded leather||+2||2||4||Working stiff|
|Ring mail||+2||3||5||Working stiff|
|Chain mail||+3||4||6||Well Off|
|Elven chain||+3||5||5||Rich (only –1 encumbrance)|
|Chain and plate||+4||6||8||Rich|